Resembling the luxurious Alhambra Palace in Spain, Spa Palazzo at the Boca Raton Resort & Club (FL) features some of the same details as its inspiration, including mosaics, murals, and grand arches. Open since 2001, the spa boasts an architectural design that complements the rest of the resort, which was built in 1926 by architect and founder Addison Mizner and reflects Mediterranean, Moorish, and Gothic influences. While the 50,000-square-foot spa's redesigned entrance alone is a sight to behold with dark wood paneling and hand-painted murals, what awaits guests inside leaves them looking and feeling like royalty. "When clients step into Spa Palazzo, they feel like they are truly stepping into something out of the ordinary," says spa director Loren Anderson.
Clients soak in a customized therapeutic bath as the last step in the Palazzo Ritual Bath signature service.
According to her, clients, who consist only of club members or guests of the resort, are mainly well-traveled, spa-savvy individuals who demand a diverse spa experience. "We rarely see first-time spa-goers here," says Anderson. "Most of our clients know what they can gain from the spa experience and have certain expectations. We need to be prepared on a daily basis to deliver the service they expect." While they do have certain expectations, most clients are simply looking for an escape from the norm when they visit Spa Palazzo. "When clients come into the spa, they just want some respite and relaxation," says Anderson. "They want to relax and enjoy the services while we take care of everything else."
To satisfy these clients, the spa houses 44 treatment rooms, separate men's and women's private lounges and locker areas, and an expansive co-ed relaxation room called the Great Room. The Great Room is a 30-foot, two-story lounge with a wall of windows that overlooks the spa's 10,000-square-foot spa garden, an area featuring waterfall whirlpools and a private spa pool with underwater music.
The resort's slogan is "The Elegant Place to Play."
While the atmosphere and various relaxation areas soothe clients' minds, it is the extensive menu of topnotch face, body, and hair services that keep them coming back. "The menu is simple enough that our clients don't have to put a lot of effort into making a decision about which treatment to choose, yet large enough to satisfy clients' needs and desires," says Anderson.
Male clients enjoy spa treatments like the Men's Energizing Trilogy after a round of golf
With myriad treatments to choose from, most clients gravitate toward massage, including the Swe-Thai Massage ($215, 80 minutes), which combines soft-tissue therapy with yoga-style stretching; the De-Stress Muscle Release ($205, 80 minutes), which helps loosen stiff, tight, and fatigued muscles; the Hot Stones Massage ($145, 50 minutes; $215, 80 minutes); the Aromatherapy Massage ($135, 50 minutes; $205, 80 minutes); and the Palazzo Massage, a customizable muscle-relief massage in either Swedish style ($130, 50 minutes; $195, 80 minutes) or Deep Tissue ($145, 50 minutes; $215, 80 minutes). "We've learned that many clients want a massage that is a blend of techniques based on what they need the most work on," says Anderson. Swimmers and bikers, for instance, usually request an extra focus on the legs and feet, while someone who works a lot and is stressed will need more help in the neck and shoulder area.
Clients can indulge in a variety of face, body, and hair services at the spa
Aside from the massages, one of the spa's most popular and well-known services is the Palazzo Ritual Bath ($30, 50 minutes), an aquatherapy water ritual designed to fully relax clients before treatments. The treatment begins in a dry-sauna-like inhalation room of eucalyptus, followed by five-to-eight minutes in the steam or sauna rooms. Clients are then accompanied into the luxurious bath by a spa attendant and handed a stone plate with frozen grapes, a loofah, a mask, and a towel. Following a soothing soak, the client is escorted into a multi-headed Swiss shower and lastly into the mineral tub for detoxing and relaxing.
Influences of Spanish-Mediterranean architecture exist all throughout the property.
While body treatments are often harder to sell because clients are not as familiar with them, the 87 full-and part-time employees at the spa do their best to inform clients of their benefits and encourage them to sample the selection. "Once we get clients to try our body treatments, they always love them," says Anderson. "So we just have to work to get them to try them."
Products from éminence Organic Skin Care and Kerstin Florian enhance the face and body services, providing clients with natural skincare benefits. "We chose those lines because of their organic components and because they are easy to use and produce great results," says Anderson. "We get a lot of travelers from out of town who stay at the resort, so they like that they can purchase products here."
While most of the services on the menu are suitable for all clients, male clients can choose from a variety of services tailored specifically for them. Such treatments include the Gentlemen's Facial ($130, 50 minutes), which is a deep-cleansing facial that soothes razor burn and skin sensitivity, and the Men's Energizing Trilogy ($205, 125 minutes), which is recommended as a post-golf or -tennis therapy and consists of a eucalyptus and pine ritual bath, a full-body scrub, and a deep tissue massage.
The resort's beach club offers guests an array of water sports and activities.
Most recently, the spa ventured into the teen market with a special Teen Night. "Because teens do not have access to the private areas, Teen Night was designed so that they can experience those things and understand the full spa experience," says Anderson. "We offered them chair massages, aquatherapy, health and wellness lessons with a fitness instructor in the pool and garden area, and organic smoothies. They very much enjoyed the event and the opportunity to be an 'adult' in the beautiful spa setting."
In the future, Anderson hopes to present more Teen Nights, add acupunture to the menu, and tie fitness into more of the services, such as offering Pilates or yoga in the pool and garden area or in a private room. For now, though, the focus is on maintaining high standards and meeting the needs and expectations of all guests. This, however, can be a daily challenge considering that the spa can accommodate anywhere from 250 to 300 appointments each day. Says Anderson, "We work every day to make sure all guests have the most fulfilling spa experience and succeed in leading them on a relaxing and satisfying spa journey."